The style for a birdcage elevator dates back to the turn of the 20th Century. Many buildings at this time were designed with ornate metal elevators, referred to as birdcage elevators, which were operated manually. Birdcage elevators at the time were designed as square or rounded cars, but the actual “birdcage” feature came from being able to look out of the elevator car at the surroundings. Birdcage designs for elevator aren’t obsolete, however. Although they can be seen in many older commercial buildings, these elevators are still manufactured on request as customized elevators. Both modern homes and commercial buildings, such as hotels or small office buildings, can have a birdcage elevator installed to accentuate the interior.
Each custom birdcage elevator starts with an ornate metal frame, which is made from steel usually. But, as the elevator design is customized, other metals are open to use upon request by the customer. The metal, especially if it’s steel, is then coated with a finish. The finish will give the metal a darker or brighter color, depending upon the customer’s request. Although the design resembles a birdcage, safety is important in the design of an elevator, as well, and for proper enclosure, glass panels are used in the elevator car. The hoistway, or shaft, is made of glass, as well, to give passengers in the elevator the full birdcage experience.
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Elevators for homes and small commercial buildings generally come in four different types, and the types used for a birdcage elevator are both cable-driven. Cable-driven elevators include traction, or electric, elevators and overhead winding drum elevators. Both of these two elevators operate with a suspended cab and a counterweight to move between floors. Neither style, in addition, requires a machine room for installation and, if you’re green-conscious, a traction elevator doesn’t require oil or a large amount of electricity to operate.
Birdcage elevators give homes and commercial buildings a classic and old-fashioned appearance while still being modern. In addition, they allow passengers a full panoramic view of your home or business when going between floors. Creating a custom birdcage elevator is as simple as contacting Artisan Elevators to discuss the design, style, and size possibilities for your home or small building.